Muslim Empire Essay

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Islam and the land controlled by Muslims were able to spread quickly because of unity. The original unity brought by the religion and the consolidation through conquest were large factors in how the empire grew. Muhammad’s ability to unite Arabs, the religious doctrine many would die for, and the prosperity of the empire were all factors in the large expansion of the empire. Muhammad’s teachings of Islam engaged many followers. After his flight to Medina, he was able to win the support of residents and the Bedouins in the countryside. He formed the umma, the first Muslim community. Afterwards, he conquered Mecca with a considerable military force and converted the people to Islam. After his death, Muhammad’s successor Abu Bakr, continued…show more content…
Islam was not forced upon local residents of subjected areas. People who chose to not convert were given a tax, but they were not prosecuted for their religion. Local populations preferred Arab rule to that of the Byzantine or Sassanian Dynasties. The idea that all men were equal in the eyes of Allah and the connection between the “Peoples of the Book” brought more unity among practitioners of the religion. Islam was not intended for a particular social or ethnic group, so anyone could join the religion to become a believer. As seen before with Assyrian and Persian empires, “You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.” The difference between the Assyrian’s heavy, militaristic rule and the compassion of the Persians led to Persia surviving longer. The empire’s system of conquering and not forcing Islam on residents made them a more attractive kingdom to be ruled under. Because of this the caliphate expanded and the rule eventually turned from the Umayyads to the Abbasids. With the Abbasids came economic prosperity. The conquered trade routes from the richest provinces of the Roman Empire now meant that the Arabs controlled routes to the east. Bagdad developed into a massive commercial market that connected Europe, Central Asia, and Africa. This led to an exchange of ideas, technology, and culture. But with the growth of the empire, the caliph had become less of the spiritual leader of Muslims and

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